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2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S vs Porsche Cayman GT4

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2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S vs Porsche Cayman GT4 || Visual Design Comparison

2017 New Porsche 718 Cayman S // Design & Test Drive

The same new 4-cylinder flat engines with turbocharging as in the 718 Boxster are being deployed in the 718 Cayman. As a result, coupé and roadster have an identical engine output for the first time. The entry-level version starts with 300 horsepower (220 kW) from two litres of displacement. The S model delivers 350 hp (257 kW) with a displacement of 2.5 litres. This represents 25 hp (18 kW) more power compared to the predecessor models.

The tremendous torque of the new engines in the 718 Cayman promises driving fun and agility even at low revs. The 2.0-litre engine of the 718 Cayman achieves a torque of up to 380 Nm (plus 90 Nm), which is available between 1,950 rpm and 4,500 rpm. The 2.5-litre engine of the 718 Cayman S features a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG), a technology hitherto used exclusively in the 911 Turbo. In the 718 Cayman S, the VTG charger additionally has a wastegate for the first time. It delivers up to 420 Nm (an extra 50 Nm) to the crankshaft at engine speeds between 1,900 and 4,500 rpm. For the driver this means even better torque in all engine speed ranges. The 718 Cayman with PDK and optional Sport Chrono Package sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.7 seconds. The 718 Cayman S completes this sprint in 4.2 seconds. The top speed of the 718 Cayman is 275 km/h (170 mph), and the 718 Cayman S can reach a speed of 285 km/h (177 mph).

The European market launch begins at the end of September 2016.

Porsche 718 Cayman pricing starts at 51,623 euros in Germany, and the 718 Cayman S costs from 64,118 euros, each including VAT and country-specific features.

The 3.8-liter flat-six out of the Carrera S is humming along, mere inches behind us. In the GT4, it makes 385 horsepower, which is 15 horses shy of what it does in the Carrera S, but 45 more than the Cayman GTS and 35 more than the base 911. Below 5000 rpm, the engine whines and whirs; spin toward the 7600-rpm redline and the pulsing turns into a 10,000 conga-drum jam-o-rama. The six puts out a big 90 decibels at full whack. Don’t worry, though; it’s a pleasant sound, never annoying.

Up on the mountain, we’re not at the redline very often. First and second gears are incredibly tall—second is good for nearly 80 mph. That gearing takes a bit of around-town zip out of the GT4. We meas­ured a zero-to-60 time of 4.1 seconds, identical to a manual Cayman GTS we’d previously tested. Beyond 60, though, the GT4 pulls away from the GTS. By 110 mph, it’s a second ahead. In the quarter-mile, the GT4 posts 12.3 seconds at 117 mph. For context, know that a PDK-equipped Carrera S goes through the quarter in 12.4 seconds at 116 mph with the Cayman GTS arriving in 12.5 seconds at 113 mph.

But power and performance are just two elements of the GT4’s 911 kinship. The entire front suspension is lifted from the 911 GT3. On the new asphalt, we can detect some understeer. On the skidpad, the GT4 pushes more reliably than the boldly neutral Cayman GTS and has a little less grip, even on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (1.01 g’s versus 1.04). But the GT4’s chassis eagerness and steering feel are infused with GT3 goodness. At speed, it’s almost as if the electric power steering is completely unassisted. You’re flooded with information about the surface, the tires, and the available grip. Porsche didn’t ruin the ride here, either. Provided you stay away from the sport setting on the PASM dampers, you’ll experience a firm, but spouse-friendly, ride.
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